The Biology of Vision

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Bikash Pattnaik
Biology of Vision
Seminar 1, 9:55–10:45 MWF
Introduction to Psychology
Lecture 1, 9:30–10:45 TR
General Chemistry I
Lecture 2, 1:20–2:10 MWF; Discussion 325, 3:30–4:20 MW; Lab 625, 11:00–2:00 T

This FIG introduces students to one of our most-used sensory systems by examining both how the human eye is put together and how it works.

The main course of this FIG, Interdisciplinary Letters & Science 101: “The Biology of Vision,” will make use of the vision science laboratory. In this course, students will see how multi-disciplinary the study of vision is as they explore how psychology, physics, biology, and clinical practice are brought together:

  • How do we perceive visual information (psychology)?
  • How is light energy converted to chemical and electrical energy (physics)?
  • What are the similarities and differences between a camera and the eye (physics)?
  • How does the nervous system work to transmit visual messages and coordinated responses (biology)?
  • How do photoreceptors transduce visual information and retina processes before it is analyzed by brain (biology)?
  • What are the molecular biology of rhodopsin, G-protein coupled receptors, signal transduction, synapses to visual perception (biology)?
  • What physiological or neurological factors cause a lack of visual perception (clinical practice)?

Psychology 202: “Introduction to Psychology” — Visual sensitivity like scene perception, human color vision, complex visual information of object recognition, contrast, depth, motion are all aspects of psychophysics. Blindness is an important aspect of neuropsychology. This course will help demonstrate how physiological events of visual perception are an important aspect of the psychological bases of human behavior.

Chemistry 103: “General Chemistry I” — Introduction to stoichiometry and the mole concept; the behavior of gases, liquids, and solids; thermochemistry; electronic structure of atoms and chemical bonding; descriptive chemistry of selected elements and compounds; and intermolecular forces.